Sense8 Murray Close/Netflix For a while there, Netflix was on a roll. Over the course of about four years, from House of Cards to Stranger Things , it produced one hot new show after another. The platform gave its series healthy budgets, their stewards complete creative control; renewal for multiple seasons was seemingly a fait accompli . Then, in the early summer of 2017, the honeymoon ended. Netflix announced it was canceling two programs, The Get Down and Sense8 . The cancellations weren’t about critical response or award nominations, they were about ROI—or the lack thereof. Speaking at a conference last weekend, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said that the network had to ask itself if enough people were watching the shows relative to the amount of money they cost. Considering that both The Get Down and Sense8 were reportedly very expensive , the answer wasn’t difficult to come by. “A big expensive show for a huge audience is great,” Sarandos said . “A big, expensive show for a tiny audience is hard even in our model to make that work very long.” For a company so opaque—Netflix has traditionally refused to give viewership numbers—Sarandos’ word choice is […]
Facebook has been attracting criticism from within the news publishing industry in recent times on various counts: fuelling the spread of ‘fake news’ for example, or for the underwhelming performance of its ‘instant articles’ format. Now the social network appears to be working on a new strategy, as reported by the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Its report claimed that Facebook is working on a new system of in-app subscriptions for news publications, which could launch by the end of 2017. “The social-media giant is building a feature that would allow users to subscribe to publishers directly from the mobile app,” is how the Journal put it, while warning that “many details remain up in the air”. Some journalism experts are remaining cautious about the likely impact though. “It couldn’t hurt, but it’s not going to be a transformational business model for publishers to sell subscriptions through Facebook,” industry analyst Alan Mutter told Poynter . “Only a small number of people in the English-speaking world are willing to pay to acquire news. A lot more people are willing to buy Netflix and HBO than are willing to pay for a subscription.”
More people are now using streaming video services than have a cable subscription, according to a May 2017 study from Fluent LLC . The survey found that 67% of US internet users watch or have access to a streaming service, while just 61% have cable in their homes. Unsurprisingly, millennials used streaming services at a higher rate than their older counterparts. However, while more than three-quarters (77%) of millennials said they have access to a streaming service, so did almost two-thirds (65%) of nonmillennials. Netflix was king among both millennials and those ages 35 and older. More than six in 10 millennials (61%) surveyed had access to the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, compared with 45% of nonmillennials. Amazon Prime Video was the lone streaming service subscribed to by both age groups at the same rate—16% of respondents. Most of the other streaming platforms examined in the survey had a higher penetration rate among younger internet users. Low cost was the top factor that persuaded respondents to pay for streaming content. More than one-third (34%) of respondents chose that as a reason for signing up for a streaming video service. Nearly three in 10 millennials (29%) said they signed on […]
Jeff Bewkes HBO has passed more than two million domestic subscribers for its over-the-top service HBO Now, parent company Time Warner revealed. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes announced the figure during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, saying he was pleased with HBO’s US over-the-top growth. “HBO is just as focused on reaching consumers abroad, with over-the-top lunches in Spain, Brazil and Argentina in 2016,” he said. The 2 million figure marks strong US uptake for HBO Now in the past year. During the firm’s Q4 2015 earnings call last February, the firm reported that the service had 800,000 paying subscribers with “enormous opportunity ahead”. Asked how important HBO Now’s distribution deal with Amazon has been to its overall growth, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said on yesterday’s call that Amazon has been “a terrific new partner,” though he added that new deals are also due to follow. “There will be other digital partners that you will see announced in the coming weeks and months. That’s why we’re so optimistic not only about our traditional business, but about our OTT business as well.” Last year HBO launched its OTT service on Microsoft’s Xbox platforms, new Samsung smart TVs, Sony’s PlayStation […]
I’ve said before that next generation TV homes are building their own streaming bundles. The average US Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) home takes 2.5 SVOD services. But what sort of bundles are beginning to emerge? And how do different homes mesh services to get to the content they want? hulu_netflix_amazon_hbo.jpg These charts look at the combination skews of US SVOD homes, taking each of a Netflix home, an Amazon home, an HBO Now home and a Hulu home as a starting point. The pies show the percent more likely than average each home-type is to have the other SVOD services shown as well as two ‘marker’ premium channels: HBO and ESPN. There are a huge number of possible combinations and each slice of each pie potentially connects to every other possible slice. Here’s the mind-bender: Netflix or Amazon homes with Hulu are also Hulu homes with Netflix or Amazon. Nonetheless. With this relatively simple four-point start, the differences in the way people are meshing SVOD services are stark. Netflix homes skew most heavily to also taking HBO Now followed by Amazon Prime Video, whereas Amazon homes skew most heavily to Hulu followed by HBO Now. That would seem […]
Netflix is banking hard on people’s love of binge-watching . It has worked for the subscription streaming service, and because it is working Netflix revealed in a letter to shareholders that it’s a trend the company sees catching on, and soon. In fact, Netflix thinks that HBO may be in the market for a binge-watching model of its own. Here’s why the subscription streaming service thinks this will be happening: The BBC has become the first major linear network to announce plans to go binge-first with new seasons, favoring internet over linear viewers. We presume HBO is not far behind the BBC. So, basically, the gist is that because the BBC is all in, HBO should be all in, too. The news (via Business Insider ) comes a few years after Netflix’s Head of Content Ted Sarandos said that Netflix’s goal was to overtake HBO in content production. In terms of sheer amount of shows the subscription streaming service has, it seems Netflix has reached its goal. HBO still has big event programming like Game of Thrones and Westworld , though. In some ways, HBO would be a good fit for binge-worthy TV. The subscription cable network really only […]
It may have just released robust results for 2016, cementing its leadership in subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) but Netflix is not at the vanguard when it comes to customer satisfaction says Strategy Analytics. In its Digital Media Strategy Analytics Strategies service report, the analyst ranks HBO Now as highest for customer satisfaction in 11 of the 14 categories of SVOD services examined. The report measured customer satisfaction is select categories across three key areas: the number and availability of TV shows/films, how easy it is to find them, and the overall value of the service. HBO Now had the highest score for all but three of the categories examined – availability of children’s programming where OTT service Hulu led; content recommendations and the cost of the subscription, which were both topped by Netflix. Hulu outscored Netflix in six of the 14 categories, while Amazon Prime was at the bottom in every one. When compared with the other three services, HBO Now also scored particularly highly in the availability of current and past season’s TV shows as well as the number of hit movies and original programmes. Yet when subscribers were asked to give a single “overall” score for the services, […]
France Télévisions va lancer son service de vidéo par abonnement avec les producteurs. Le projet, initialement prévu au printemps, se fera à l’automne. France Télévisions va bel et bien lancer son nouveau service de SVoD (vidéo à la demande par abonnement) avec les producteurs (« Les Echos » du 12 décembre) . Une dizaine de producteurs et distributeurs ont été contactés – les plus gros etc. – pour un projet commun, qui doit être lancé à l’automne prochain. Ces derniers ont reçu, au moment des fêtes, un engagement de confidentialité. Comme on pouvait s’y attendre, le démarrage de la SVoD, initialement prévu fin mars, a été reporté. En septembre, la présidente du groupe, Delphine Ernotte, avait reconnu elle-même que le projet était « compliqué », et que la SVoD nécessitait d’importants investissements. Un nouvelle plate-forme replay en mai D’autant que le groupe va d’abord rénover sa plate-forme de replay et de VOD, qui sortira le 2 mai dans une version plus ergonomique, avec un parcours simplifié (permettant notamment des recherches par genre), et de nouveaux contenus. Il prendra un nouveau nom. Un enjeu réel, alors que pour certaines fictions comme « Chef » l’audience délinéarisée peut représenter autour de […]
It’s no secret that the major subscription video on demand platforms Amazon and Netflix have rapidly increased their content spend, reaching similar levels to traditional TV groups. But Netflix’s content spend is now comparable to a premium channel group or platform, marking a re-focus of the company’s overall strategy. With original content also central to success and a catalogue refinement underway, Netflix is repositioning as a premium channel play. Daniel Gadher, Analyst at Ampere Analysis says: “Netflix’s growth has relied heavily on geographic expansion to date, but, with its global launch, that road has now run out. Increasingly, Netflix is re-engineering as a premium channel play and its content spend, as well as the refinement we are seeing in its content catalogue, reflect this. Netflix is clearly re-positioning as a premium channel in a strategy that differs considerably from that of Amazon. This duality of approaches will see the two operations increasingly carve out parallel but separate niches.” (click on graph to enlarge) The facts: – At 60% of revenue, Netflix’s annual content spend is now comparable to a premium channel group or platform. Netflix spent $4.7bn on content in 2016. That’s nearly twice Amazon’s $2.7bn annual bill. – […]
HBO Game of Thrones Meesa (HBO) TiVo announced that Time Warner Inc.’s HBO has signed a long-term intellectual property license. HBO’s new license will provide it access to the TiVo patent portfolios and the over-the-top assets of the Intellectual Ventures patent portfolio under the TiVo/IV licensing partnership. “Our license agreement with HBO reinforces the value our innovative patent portfolios deliver to the OTT industry as we continue helping companies quickly adapt to a rapidly changing and fragmented media industry,” said Samir Armaly, executive vice president of intellectual property and licensing at Rovi Corporation, a TiVo company, in a statement. Last year, prior to Rovi acquiring TiVo for $1.1 billion and taking on the TiVo name, Rovi signed an exclusive OTT partnership with Intellectual Ventures to combine their patents. The combined portfolio addresses OTT aspects including content management and delivery, streaming technologies and consumer-facing features and functionality. RELATED: Rovi’s $1.1B TiVo acquisition gets OK from FTC and DOJ “We chose Rovi as a partner because of its world-class licensing program and valuable patent portfolio, which is well established within the media and entertainment market,” said Cory Van Arsdale, senior vice president of global licensing at Intellectual Ventures, in a statement. […]
Amazon Prime Video differs from some of its competitors by offering separate add-on channels in addition to what’s included with your Prime membership. Now it’s adding two more: HBO and Cinemax. Cinemax costs an extra $9.99 a month, while HBO is $14.99 a month, so you’re not actually saving any cashover just signing up for HBO Now . Still, there are at least a couple of benefits; you can download Amazon Prime videos for offline viewing( Update: it turns out you can’t for any Amazon Channels) and you can keep more of your videos in a single app. You can sign up for a 30-day trial of HBO or add Cinemax to your line-up over at amazon.com/channels .
AT&T is acquiring Time Warner Inc, including the HBO, Turner and Warner Bros brands. The 50/50 cash and stock based bid has a total transaction value of $108.7 billion. The deal is subject to approval by Time Warner shareholders and the US Department of Justice and and is expected to close by the end of next year. AT&T positioned the rationale for the deal as combining Time Warner content with its own distribution networks, including mobile (United States and Mexico), broadband (in the United States) and satellite TV across the United States, Mexico and Latin America. Turner Broadcasting includes programming networks such as CNN, Cartoon Network, TNT and Adult Swim which are sold across the world. HBO has also launched several subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) products including HBO Now, HBO on Demand and HBO Go, the latter of which is available in 60 countries, and HBO sells its content in 150 countries. This would allow the combined business to improve targeting of cross platform products and advertising, while also feeding data back data to inform content creation. In 2015, Turner generated revenues of $10.6 billion. HBO $5.6 billion and Warner Bros. $13.0 billion. After eliminations total revenues amounted to $28.2 […]
US adults (aged 18-64) are spending more time streaming video content on TV sets than they are on computers or mobile devices, according to a recent report from RealityMine. However, survey respondents’ preferred devices differ depending on the OTT service in question. Leading OTT services tend to be mostly viewed on TV sets, per the report. Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents’ time spent watching Netflix content is on TV sets, per the report, while a majority (57.5%) of time spent with Amazon content is likewise on TV sets. About half of HBO GO (50.8%) and Hulu (49.9%) viewing time is spent on TV sets. It’s a different story for YouTube, which is viewed primarily via computers (43.3% share of viewing time) and mobile phones (33.1%), likely due to more short-form content being watched on that platform. Recent research from Ooyala, for example, shows that most smartphone video viewing is for short-form content (0-5 minutes), while virtually all (92%) of set-top viewing is for long-form content of at least 20 minutes. Streaming video services reached 50% penetration of US households earlier this year, on par with DVR penetration for the first time, according to Nielsen. The RealityMine survey suggests that among adults streaming content Netflix has the broadest daily reach (18%), while it comes a close second to YouTube (40%) in weekly reach. About the Data: RealityMine had 5034 participants aged 18-64 complete the TouchPoints USA 2016.1 study. Their responses were fused with GfK’s MRI 1-Year Study that yielded a sample count of 18,396 (aged 18-64) from which RealityMine prepared the analysis.
IMAGINE a television which, as in the old days, has only a handful of channels to choose from instead of hundreds, as a typical cable set-up might offer today. In a decade or so TVs will once again have only a few channels, but each will run miles deep, with content that can be viewed on demand. Netflix might be one such offering; Amazon another. Both firms are spending billions of dollars making and buying TV shows and films to sell directly to viewers to watch when they like, and on devices other than the box in the corner of the room. And other rich tech firms may join them. It is this vision that is now driving the direction of television and media. Broadcasters are willing to pay more to show live sporting events, and to invest more in producing TV shows, to make their networks the must-see choice for viewers. This trend has spurred the largest-ever merger of a telecommunications company with a media firm. AT&T, America’s wireless and pay-TV giant, announced on October 22nd an offer for Time Warner, the owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Brothers studio, worth $109bn. In doing so AT&T is betting that a few vertically integrated platforms will dominate the future of viewing. This huge deal follows the $30bn purchase in 2011 by Comcast, a cable-TV company, of NBC Universal. If approved, it would not be the last such merger. And the next buyers could be content companies buying distribution platforms. At 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch might go after the rest of Sky, a British pay-TV firm, that he does not already own (Sky is a cheaper target with the fall of the pound). At Disney, Bob Iger mused recently about the need to reach consumers directly in an increasingly […]